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Formation developments in Pakistan

03/05/2006: Pakistan

There has been something that has excited us and that marks an important point in our Marist Pakistan history. On the 4th February, we settled finally into our new Pre-Novitiate Formation House. I am not sure that “settled” is quite the right word as we have had a lot of problems, and we continue to have them, although most of the plumbing leaks (to mention one problem) have been fixed up.

Since I arrived, two and a half years ago, the Formation House has been a sort of moveable feast. We were on the top floor of the Boys’ Hostel at Peshawar for the first two years and in a section of the Technical Institute Hostel here at Faisalabad for the last six months. Now we are in our own home, adjacent to the Hostel and built on land given to the Brothers by the Bishop.

It is currently occupied by myself (Br. Remigius is next door looking after the Technical Institute) and eight young men at various stages in their Marist journey. Four are completing their (equivalent of) Year 12 (they go out to ‘College’ each day); two are Aspirants and two are Postulants. These latter will be off to the Novitiate in Sri Lanka in two months time. It is quite an interesting task managing the needs and studies of this mixture.

Then there was another highlight over recent times….the return of our first two newly professed young Brothers from the Novitiate in Sri Lanka. Brothers Adnan and Albert arrived back two weeks ago and will leave for MAPAC in two months time. These are the first two products of the drive for vocations and the establishment of a pre-Novitiate Formation Programme carried out over recent years. We now expect a steady flow of young Marists into the Pakistan Sector.

The Brothers of the Province of Sri Lanka and the Sector of Pakistan are very grateful to the Province of Melbourne for the help that has been received over the last three years to help this programme become established. This help has come from the Melbourne Solidarity Office (thank you all for supporting this), and from a number of old scholars, particularly from SHC

So, the political situation, although volatile, uncertain and potentially dangerous, has not prevented our Marist growth. There are good reasons for gratitude to God, Mary and Champagnat for what is happening.

Bro. Walter Smith

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